Oct 12th 2011 5:12PM
While we do not require a light kit for business profile shoots, working in available light alone can present challenging circumstances for quality production video. Particularly, if you don't have a good grasp of the basics of lighting.
The fact of the matter is this: on a 90 minute shoot - it is well nigh impossible to capture the personality of a given business if you are schlepping around a full light kit, setting up a three point arrangement, and properly lighting the scene before even rolling the camera.
While 3 point light kits don't make sense on a 90 min business profile, keeping an-camera light or simple softbox in your bag can make all the difference in dark interiors.
Even if the overall facility is underlit, taking advantage of available light for the interview will drastically improve the look of the finished interview. Whenever possible, have the subject face a nearby window (avoid backlighting from a window to ruin exposure of your shot!). In general, sitting your subject with available light falling on their face is preferred - even if there are other better spots but with poor lighting. The customer wants the video to look as good as possible and can often accommodate requests to adjust noise levels, background activity and lighting concerns when you ask. Always ask before its too late!
If all the light temperatures and types of bulbs start to intimidate you, one particularly useful strategy prior to pressing record is to simply cycle through the color balance presets for a quick comparison. Auto is rarely the best option, but sometimes is the way to go since so many facilities have such a diversity of light sources that the other presets are not better. When you are starting out, you may miss how off-color the image is on your screen until you see it on a computer. Cycling through the presets is the best way to develop a keen color balance vocabulary.
For more information, see Vimeo School's lighting resources.